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Afghan war document leak reveal ISI, Taliban collaboration

By One India

Washington/Islamabad, July 27 (ANI): The leak of 91,000 US military documents containing information about the war in Afghanistan war suggests, but without providing definitive evidence, that Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has been collaborating with the Taliban.

Even as the White House, attempts to defuse the row at home over the WikiLeak engineered disclosure, in Kabul, Waheed Omar, a spokesman for Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, bluntly said: "The war on terrorism will not succeed unless we address the root causes ... the role forces behind the borders of Afghanistan play in destabilising activity here in Afghanistan."

The Guardian further quoted him, as saying: "We will not be able to defeat terrorism in the villages of Afghanistan unless we pay attention to the places where terrorism has been nurtured, where terrorists are kept, where they are given sanctuary, where they are given ideal motives to carry out their attacks in Afghanistan."

However, an ISI official questioned the reliability of Afghan intelligence gathering.

"The majority of these [documents] are preliminary reports and they are mostly from Afghan intelligence, so you can imagine their credibility," the official said.

The testy exchanges come shortly after it seemed as if relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were seen to be improving.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs described the leaks as "posing a very real and potential threat to those who are working every day to keep us safe."

He labelled the leaks as "a criminal act".

The Pentagon has launched an inquiry into the identity of the leaker, and is reviewing all the documents to see if any pose a risk to the lives of the US military, a process that could take days or months.

Wikileaks obtained the documents through a source within the Pentagon.

The documents appear to show that Pakistan intelligence officials were aiding the Taliban, in contrast with statements by US officials that Pakistan is America's ally in the fight against the Taliban.

The ISI has in the past worked with the Taliban, seeing it as a bulwark against any Indian attempts to increase its influence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan rejected the allegations in the US military documents as false, with the ISI official suggesting the leaked material was only preliminary reports.

"Only once something is corroborated from multiple sources does it become a credible piece of information," the ISI official said.

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit, called the leaks "far-fetched and skewed".

Hamid Gul, 74, a former ISI chief, described the leaks as "a pack of lies, a fairytale".

India joined Afghanistan in saying the leaks confirmed what Delhi had been saying for years about Islamabad's behaviour in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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